tv Washington This Week CSPAN December 17, 2011 10:00am-2:00pm EST
event in iowa -- will be going we are going to promote families. we are going to be the message givers, added mr. bachmann, who runs a christian counseling service that critics say practices so-called gate-to- straight counseling. the last call we will take today is from mary, a democrat, in asheville, north carolina. good morning. you are on the air. caller: hello.
i just want to say that obama is doing a very good job if the republicans would let him do what he got in office to do. john boehner is the one who needs to be out of office. he don't care about no one but the rich people. and and john mccain and a couple of the other ones. i think that it has come down to a race issue. they did not want to do anything obama once because obama is mixed. i did not care if the man is black, blue, purple, green, or red -- he is a good president, and i hope he wins next time. host: she was talking about president obama's reelection chances. this is from "time" this week.
a new poll out saying obama's reelection odds are about 50/50. that article goes on to say the poll found americans are evenly divided over whether they expect obama to be reelected next year. obama's overall job approval stands at a new low, though, with 44% approving and 54% disapproving. president's standing among independent voters is worst -- worse -- 38% approve with 59%
>> c-span is live in spencer, iowa, today in the northwestern part of the state where the republican presidential candidate michele bachmann is meeting with voters in this meeting room at a deli there. we should also here later today from texas governor rick perry. he is also in spencer, and you will be able to watch coverage of his campaign live at noon eastern time. later, rick santorum is holding a town hall in cairo. we hope to bring that to you later today as well. lots of candidates spending time in iowa before the caucuses are held january 3. just to let you know, in the senate today, for your votes are being taken up here the two- month extension of the social security payroll tax cut has passed the senate. that will go to the house possibly as soon as monday, and they will also be dealing with
the government spending bill, a disaster aid bill, and a fourth bill to pay for that aid. the payroll tax cut extension includes an extension of unemployment benefits up to 59 weeks and a freeze on scheduled cuts in medicare payments to doctors. we're bringing you live coverage over on our companion network, c-span2.
month extension of the social security payroll tax cut. we spoke to someone this morning on our show "washington journal" about what to expect from congress today. let's take a look. checking in with stan freeman of the national journal. he is a congressional staff writer, and you can read his writings there. welcome to the "washington journal." guest: thanks. host: tell us about this vote that is expected in the senate and how we get there. guest: they should have a couple of votes. the main one is voting on the extension on the existing produced employee payroll tax rate. it would extendin the so-called top affects -- doc fix as well. senate democrats last night
thought that they would reach an agreement to get an 11-month extension, not a 12-month period because the payroll tax rate, along with the year-long extension of unemployment and the doc fix. but they cannot get an agreement with republicans on how to pay for that. it would be a $190 billion cost, but could not figure out the difference. the main problem was republican insistence on the mean for wealthier medicare recipients, and republicans say that was not the issue. host: that cost of this payroll tax that deal is between
$30,000,000,000.1345446923 dollars. guest: that is what we -- $30 billion and $40 billion. guest: that is what we were told last night. they have to check down from a larger plans that they had hoped. host: and what will happen after the extension, the two month extension, will they have to come back and do it all over again? guest: yes, and democrats made the argument that that will be big politically. senators schumer made the point that he thought that continuing to talk about this in february would be a very helpful thing for democrats. he also said that they would attempt again to raise taxes on people who earned in their income more than $1 million a year. we will see how that pans out.
but for a lot of people, it is frustrating to get a resolution to this. -- to get no resolution on this. guest: what else happens with the senate this morning? guest: they will fund the government for another year or for the rest of the fiscal year. that isn't on the must pending bill that will be voted on, and the payroll but is around 9:00. the senate will vote on the omnibus -- there is a package that the house has passed. the house also funded disaster aid separately. the senate will approve the disaster bill, probably, and not paid for the house approved of. that is the understanding in both chambers. funding for disaster aid is not
counted in the overall numbers of the national budget. it is an offset and that has been a place of contention. host: after the senate votes on this today and house is expected back on monday to vote on this, is that correct? guest: that is correct. the house will be back on monday. they have been vague on when they would come back but they will come back and approve the two-month paper a bill. they have already approved on a bus. host: we have a picture of john boehner and he has not signed off on this. guest: he may not like it, but yesterday he said he was specific in saying that the keystone pipeline provision was not included and that -- in the
two-payroll bill. host: stan freeman -- dan freeman of the national journal, you can read his reporting on this andndnd >> this morning, we are live in spencer, iowa, bringing you coverage of republican presidential candidates. we are expecting congresswoman michele bachmann of minnesota. she was expected about 15 minutes ago. the crowd here still waiting for her appearance. she started a bus tour which began on thursday, and her goal is to visit 99 counties of iowa in 10 days. we will bring you her comments as soon as she arrives. texas governor rick perry is also campaigning in spencer
later this morning, and we will bring you that live coverage on c-span at about noon eastern time. in the senate today, you can catch live coverage on our companion network, c-span2. they are taking up four votes this morning. the extension of the social security payroll tax cut has passed. that will be going back to the house possibly as soon as monday. also in the senate today, they will be dealing with the government spending bill, a disaster aid bill, and a fourth bill to pay for that aid. and she will get that keystone pipelines signed so we can get that series energy production back in this country because it has been held up. the president is playing politics with it. there is no reason that if he says he is trying to create jobs and that is what the so-called payroll tax credit is -- there
is no reason he cannot take the one thing that is going to immediately create jobs, which is the keystone pipeline, and bring that in through america so we cannot only be energy independent but also create immediate jobs in america right now. she should be coming in pretty quick. feel free to ask what you can, and i will tell you what -- hopefully, she will give you the best answers you have heard yet and ones that are right on point. we actually need someone who brings it back to the constitution, and that is what michele does with every single thing. and you. -- thank you.
>> we are here in iowa, waiting for michele bachmann to a right to speak to potential voters. the caucuses will be held the first tuesday of the new year, january 3, said she is trying to visit 99 districts in 10 days. she started a bus tour on thursday. also in iowa today, we will bring you coverage later today of taxes governor rick perry. he is also in spencer. we will have that at noon eastern time. later, former pennsylvania senator rick santorum will hold a town hall meeting. we hope to bring that to you later. for now, waiting for michele bachmann to make remarks in spencer, iowa. also, in the senate, senators are busy working today. four votes being taken up. they have already passed the two-month extension of the social security payroll tax cut. that has passed by a vote of 89- 10, and will go to the house on monday.
>> we are live here in this meeting room of the deli in spencer, iowa, waiting for republican presidential candidate michele bachmann. she will be meeting and speaking with voters here. also later today, texas governor rick perry also in spencer. we will show you coverage of his campaign live at noon eastern time. waiting for michele bachmann, who started a bus tour through iowa on thursday. she is going to try to hit all 99 counties of it within 10 days, so we are waiting for her shortly. we do hear that she is close to on arriving here with the supporters and voters in iowa.
>> it looks like michele bachmann's campaign moving all the supporters, voters to another part of the delhi. we will try to see if we can follow with them, how our crew moved to a different area. in the meantime, we are going to take a look at some of your phone calls and e-mails from this morning's "washington journal." lawmakers dialing back ranker, and erect two-month extension, pipeline approval as part of talks. top senate leaders reached a tentative agreement friday evening on a two-month extension of a payroll tax cut. the article goes on to say that a deal which theouse is expected to vote on early next week would extend for two months the current tax cut in the
social security payroll tax for wage earners. it would continue a program that provides up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits. some democrats worried about the environmental impact and president obama who had delayed and other issues at their website. thank you for being on the "washington journal" this morning. we continue our discussion regarding the senate vote on the extension of the tax cut,
expected later this morning. because the san diego, california on our line for republicans. you are on the w j" go-ahead. caller: -- you are on the "washington journal", go ahead. caller: those are our contributions to social security. so when we receive our annual statement for this benevolent tax cut that the government is giving us, it will show that we are making zero contributions to social security, correct? host: what is your point on this? caller: how will we make that money up? you have to put some much money in per quarter in order to increase her social security. it is just craziness. secondly, on the pipeline, the president stood there and he said that the payroll tax cut
and the unemployment insurance would create more jobs than the pipeline would. so our president, the leader of this country, is standing there saying that unemployment is more beneficial to our country than actual jobs. it is just mystifying to me. host: let's move on to wilson on a line from democts. little rock, ark., go ahead. wilson? [unintelligible] host: let's go to jim in lakeland, florida on the line for independents. good morning. caller: one thing that has not come up about the two month social security, that 2%, by the end of february the millionaires will already have
all their benefits for the year. after that, the republicans do not care if it goes in, because they will have made the maximum in social security by the end of february. is anyone bringing that up? host: you just did. we're moving on to our line from democrats with jimmy. louisiana. go ahead. caller: i do not understand why they have to tie the pipeline into it. my question would become a where the material in the pipeline would come from. would it be made here or would it be put on trains and shipped to china. thank you. host: our next call comes from kirk on our line for republicans. washington, c., go ahead. caller: i am all for including
the keystone pipeline under the condition that kent conrad and mitt rney have provided, the offer would not be exposed. and under words, the water table could easily be attacked by terrorists at its weakest point and cause all kinds of damage. as long as the pipeline goes around the offer, i am all for it. in that i am all for it and i would like for it to go around the oaquifer, which contrt with the position of doing it in the most efficient way. the will be direct relevance and a couplef months in the way that this will be decided. and i agree with kent conrad and mitt romney and not newt gingrich. host: in the baltimore sun, this headline. they write the short-term extension of the payroll tax cut comes as democrats and republicans fail to achieve a
consensus on how to pay for the full year extension of the tax break which expires december 31. the article goes on to say that house members left town friday after approving an $915illion bill. back to the phones and new york on our line for democrats. you are on the "washington journal." caller: i want to amplify what
the gentleman said about the aquifer. i am a democrat and not your typical tree hugger. we should look at some facts. that provides about one-third of the ground water used to irrigate u.s. crops. this pipeline is going to cross approximately 70 rivers and streams. it is projected to be four feet underground. we have 88 inspectors overseeing 2.3 million miles of gas and oil pipelines. in 2009, there were 2800 pipeline acted cents -- accidents. so before we rush it, i agree that we need jobs, i worry about whether it this is going to get all shipped off to china, but before we rush hit, we need some background information.
host: let me ask you this -- if it came down to a choice of extending the payroll tax cut or not doing the keystone pipeline extension, would you favor putting off that keystone pipeline extension for now? caller: temporarily i would, yes. i definitely think that we have to have all the information in front of us, whether this is worth better not. this is going to cross the united states entirely. host: and senator john barrasso of wyoming is giving this weekend's republican radio address. he expresses on the keystone pipeline situation. >> the president has threatened to veto this bill because the pipeline is opposed by a number of extreme environmental groups. this is the same groups in the past have supported the
president and he needs their support for his re-election. it appears that president obama is opposing these new american jobs in order to try to save his own job. it is time for the president to stop playing politics. after repeatedly saying we cannot wait for american job creation, the president now wants americans to weigh on the jobs from the pipeline until after next year's election. canada has made it clear -- if we do not build this pipeline, the united states will lose these jobs and it will sell the oil to china. and we will be forced to get more of our energy from th middle east. if the president successfully blocks these new jobs, it will add to his long list of bad economic decisions for this country. ile the president may have inherited a bad economy, he has made it worse. the: we're talking about
the government is continuing to give away money and they are making claims that these expenses a paid for. but in fact, they never seem to be. every year, probably for the last 15 years, you hear that the government is talking about cutting doctor fees for medicare and somehow that never happens. and then on top of everything else, the president, who seems to be a very rational guy, as apparently giving and o environmental -- is apparently giving in on environmental essays. you just had someone talking about the radical environmental groups.
if you go back in time, the sierra club was consired a radical enronmental group. and in conclusion, is anything going to change in this country? host: richard in new york, new york. richard brodeur of medicare and we're going to be talking about a bipartisan plan to limit medicare costs in our next segment of the "washington journal." back to the phones in our line for republicans, allen in richmond, virginia, go ahead. caller: i am a working class, blue caller worker. it seems like the obama administration is more concerned with creating jobs concerning oil in the pipeline, with all but billions of dollars that he sent to brazil, for all their
workers to have jobs. i really have not seen any jobs that he has created for the working class america in this country. what about all the shovel ready jobs? the woman who spoke earlier so concerned about the environment, i am concerned about the environment but i am also concerned about my fellow americans in the middle class having jobs and making a living. right now, i will be honest with you, unless their jobs created in this country, the working class are going to become third world class. host: how would it affect your personal economy if they had not passed this tax cut extension? caller: to be honest with you, with the income that i make and with my fellow middle-class fellow americans, i do not really think it is that big of a deal.
perhaps someone who is making a very goodalary, and right now all those middle-class americans are struggling. host: ron in cleveland, ohio, you are on the "washington journal." caller: when i hear our elected officials talk about social security, i never hear them talk about paying back all the money that has been borrowed from social security. they see -- they keep saying that it is going broke but they do not want to pay the money back. number two, about the pipeline, our environment is the most precious thing, not only we have but the world has, and you can keep putting it in danger. and expect nothing to happen. thank you very much. host: we will take at look at other news items in the papers this morning as we continue our discussion regarding the senate vote later on this morning. extending the tax cuts. and from the "wall street
journal," it party favorite joins others backing romney. another high profile republican endorsement friday. >> we leave this now. you can find it on line and at c-span.org. we take you back to spencer, iowa, where republican candidate michele bachmann is doing a meet and greet. them a merry christmas to you. thank you. january 3, i need your vote. nice to meet you.
the first female student body president with the first woman president of the united states. that is pretty good, don't you think? quite an honor. the first woman student body president of spencer high school with the first woman president of the united states, right? thank you. thank you. did you want a picture? let's take a picture. how are you guys? good to see you. thank you. [inaudible] totally changed my life. there is nothing better.
[inaudible] thank you. you know, they are going to run the debate on fox again tonight at 8:00 if you want to see it. vote michele on january 3. you are alice and you live here in spencer? are you a lifelong spencerite? >> [inaudible] >> i'm from lake minnesota. >> i know where that is. i know exactly where that is. that is in my district. >> i have been in iowa, though, about 50 years. >> i guess that qualifies. you and i are just the opposite. i was born and raised in iowa and moved up to minnesota.
hi, guys. thanks again for coming out. thank you. january 3. you have your twins jacket on. thank you. what is your name? thank you. we are glad to be here. january 3, come out and vote for me. thank you again. how are you? >> [inaudible] >> it is nice to meet you. are you still in school? >> yes. >> [inaudible] >> that is right. you tell him, january 3, come on out. >> [inaudible]
>> i'm all for it. to help with our obesity problem, we fight it every day at home. all these things that just makes it harder to make better choices. >> [inaudible] it really begins, you are right, in the home with parents to make sure kids get the right things. and they make good choices because it establishes your body your whole life. when i was little, my mother had [inaudible] thanks for asking the question, morgan. january 3.
>> a little bit of michele bachmann, republican presidential candidate, meeting with supporters in spencer, iowa. she is on a bus tour that began thursday, trying to hit all 99 counties in iowa in 10 days. later on today, we will bring you more road to the white house coverage. we will bring you texas governor rick perry, who is also campaigning in spencer. we will have that coverage at about noon. later, former pennsylvania senator rick santorum holding a town hall meetings in iowa today. we hope to bring that to you as well. in the senate, they are taking up four votes. as he is going to go back to the house possibly as soon as monday. also, a disaster aid bill also passed 72-27. senators right now working on
the omnibus spending bill. that is $915 billion to fund the government through september of next year, and that is the final measure to be taken up today. you can watch live coverage from the floor of the senate over on our companion network, c-span2. >> hear what candidates are saying from the campaign trail at the newly designed c-span website for campaign 2012. >> i say if you cannot live with a nuclear iran -- and i cannot -- then you have to decide what to do and i think all options are on the table. >> it would took that oath seriously, we would get rid of 80% of the government. >> your question was -- who is the proven constitutional conservative in this race, and that would be me. >> read the latest. all at c-span.org/campaign2012. >> president obama spoke friday
at the 71st general assembly of the union for reform judaism. this event took place in maryland. it is about 30 minutes. >> thank you. [applause] thank you so much. thank you. thank you so much. thank you, everybody. thank you. please, please have a seat. making me blush. [laughter] thank you, eric, for that extraordinary introduction, and for your many years of leadership in the reform movement. even though it is a few hours early, i would like to wish all of you shalom. [applause]
there are a lot of familiar faces in the house. i want to welcome israel's deputy prime minister and defense minister, ehud barak. [applause] the cooperation between our military's has never been stronger, and i want to thank ehud for his leadership and a lifelong commitment to israel's security. i also want to recognize the israeli ambassador who is here with us today. [applause]
american jews, i want to congratulate all of you on the golden anniversary of the religious action center. [applause] as eric mentions, when president kennedy spoke to leaders from iraq in 1961 -- i was 3 months old, so my memory is a bit hazy. [laughter] but i am very familiar with the work that you have done ever since, and so is the rest of america. that is because you helped draft the civil rights act and the voting rights act. [applause] you helped to liberate soviet jews. [applause] you have made a difference on so many of the defining issues of the last half century.
without these efforts, i probably would not be standing here today, so thank you. thank you. [applause] you have brought to life your face and your values. the world is a better place for it. -- you have brought to life your faith and your values. since my daughter malia has reached the age where it seems like there is always a bar or bat mitzvah every weekend -- [applause] and there is quite a bit of negotiation around skirts that she wears to these -- do you guys have these conversations as well? [applause] i just wanted to be clear it was
not just me. [laughter] "what time do you get home?" as a consequence, she has become the family expert on jewish traditions. [laughter] and if there is one thing i have learned from her, it is that it never hurts to begin a speech by discussing the torah. it does not hurt. [applause] this week -- [laughter] , congregations around the world will retell the story of joseph. as any fan of broadway musicals will tell you -- [laughter]
there is a lot going on in this reading. [laughter] many scholars have focused on a single word that joseph uses when he replies to his father, jacob. in hebrew -- it translates to, "here i am." the same word abraham uses to reply to guide before the binding of isaac. the same word moses uses when god summons him to the burning bush. the text is telling us that while joseph does not know what lies ahead, he is ready to answer the call.
in this case, he is led to egypt. it sets in motion a story of enslavement and exodus. it would come to inspire readers like martin luther king, as they sought freedom. the story of persecution and perseverance that has repeated itself from inquisitions- aerospace into czarist russia to hitler's germany -- inquisitions-era spain to czarist russia to hitler's germany. in this place, america stands out. [applause] we cannot whitewash the past. like so many ethnic groups, jews faced prejudice and sometimes violence as they sought their peace of the american dream, but
here, jews finally found a place where their faith was protected, were hard work and responsibility paid off, where no matter who you were or where you came from, you could make it if you tried. here in america, you really could build a better life for your children. i know how much that story means to many of you because i know how much that story means to me. my father was from kenya. my mother was from kansas, not places with a large jewish community. [laughter] but -- [laughter] but when my jewish friends tell me about their ancestors, i feel a connection. i know what it is like to think
-- only in america is my story even possible. i have to interrupt. my friend debbie wasserman schultz just got in the house. [applause] now, the jewish community has always understood that the dream we share is about more than just doing well for yourself. from the moment our country was founded, american jews have helped make our union more perfect. your parents, your grandparents, your great- grandparents, they remembered what it was like to be a stranger, and as a result treated strangers with
compassion. they pursued tikkun olam, the hard work of repairing the world. [applause] they fought bigotry because they had experienced bigotry. they fought for freedom of religion because they understood what it meant to be persecuted for your religious beliefs. our country is a better place because they did. the same values that bring you here today led justice brandeis to fight for an america that protects the least of these. [applause] those same values led jewish leaders to found rac 50 years ago.
[applause] they led abraham joshua heschel to pray with his feet and march with dr. [applause] -- with dr. king. and over the last three years, they have brought us together on the most important issues of our time. when we began this journey, we knew we would have to take on powerful special interests. we would have to take on a washington culture where doing what's politically convenient is often valued above doing what's right; where the focus is too often on the next election instead of the next generation. [applause]
and so time and time again, we've been reminded that change is never easy. and a number of the rabbis who are here today, when i see them, they'd been saying a prayer. they noticed my hair is grayer. [laughter] but we didn't quit. you didn't quit. and today, we're beginning to see what change looks like. and eric mentioned what change looks like. change is the very first bill i signed, the lilly ledbetter fair pay act, which says in this country an equal day's work gets an equal day's pay. that's change. [applause] change is finally doing something about our addiction to oil and raising fuel-efficiency
standards for the first time in 30 years. that's good for our economy. it's good for our national security. [applause] and it's good for our environment. change is confirming two supreme court justices who will defend our rights, including our first amendment rights surrounding religion -- happen to be two women, by the way. that's also a good thing. [applause] change is repealing "don't ask, don't tell," so that in the first time in history, you don't have to hide who you love to serve the country that you love. that's change. [applause]
change is working with the reform movement, and other faith-based groups, to reform the federal faith-based initiatives, improving the way we partner with organizations that serve people in need. change is health care reform that we passed after a century of trying, reform that will finally ensure that in the united states of america, nobody goes bankrupt just because they get sick. that's change. [applause] change is the 2.5 million young people -- maybe some of those nfty folks who have already -- [applause] -- who have health insurance on becauserents' plans of the of 4 au pair abbottabad
affordable care act. that's change. [applause] it's making family planning more accessible to millions of americans. [applause] it's insurance companies not being able to charge you more just because you're a woman, or deny you coverage if you have breast cancer. [applause] change is committing to real, persistent education reform, because every child in america deserves access to a good school and to higher education -- every child. [applause] and change is keeping one of the first promises i made in 2008: after nearly nine years, our war in iraq is ending this month and our troops are coming home. [applause]
that's what change is. and none of this would have happened without you. that's the kind of change we'll keep fighting for in the months and years ahead. and just last night, you took another step towards the change we need and voted for a set of principles of economic justice in a time of fiscal crisis. [applause] and i want to thank you for your courage. that statement could not have come at a more important time. for as you put it, we're at a crossroads in american history. last tuesday, i gave a speech in osawatomie, kansas, where i described that crossroads. and i laid out a vision of our
country where everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules. [applause] and these are not democratic values or republican values; they're not christian values or jewish values or hindu or muslim values -- they're shared values, and we have to reclaim them. we have to restore them to a central place in america's political life. [applause] i said it last week, i'll say it again: this is not just a political debate. this is a moral debate. this is an ethical debate. it's a values debate. it's the defining issue of our time. it is a make-or-break moment for the middle class and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. [applause] and for those of us who
remember parents or grandparents or great-grandparents who had to fight to get in the middle class, but they understood that the american dream was available to them because we were all in it together -- that's what this is about. [applause] and last night, you reaffirmed the moral dimension of this debate. [applause] we have to decide who we are as a country. is this a place where everyone is left to fend for themselves? the most powerful can play by their own rules? or do we come together to make sure that working people can earn enough to raise a family, send their kids to college, buy their own home, have a secure health care and a secure retirement? that is the story that almost all of us here share, in one way or another.
this is a room full of folks who come from immigrants, and remember what it was like to scratch and claw and work. you haven't forgotten. you know what it's like to see those in your own family struggle. well, we have to apply those same values to the american family. we're not a country that says, you're on your own. when we see neighbors who can't find work or pay for college or get the health care they need, we answer the call -- we say, "here i am." and we will do our part. [applause] that's what you affirmed last
night. but more importantly, it's what you affirm every day with your words and your actions. and i promise you that as you pray with your feet, i will be right there with you every step of the way. [applause] i'll be fighting to create jobs, and give small businesses a chance to succeed. i'll be fighting to invest in education and technology. i will fight to strengthen programs like medicare and social security. [applause] i will fight to put more money in the pockets of working families. i won't be afraid to ask the most well-off among us - americans like me - to pay our fair share, to make sure that everybody has got a shot. i will fight alongside you every inch of the way. [applause] and as all of you know, standing -- and as all of you know,
standing up for our values at home is only part of our work. around the world, we stand up for values that are universal -- including the right of all people to live in peace and security and dignity. [applause] that's why we've worked on the international stage to promote the rights of women -- [applause] -- to promote strategies to alleviate poverty -- [applause] -- to promote the dignity of all people, including gays and lesbians -- [applause] disabilities.th
[applause] -- to promote human rights and democracy. and that's why, as president, i have never wavered in pursuit of a just and lasting peace -- two states for two peoples; an independent palestine alongside a secure jewish state of israel. [applause] i have not wavered and will not waver. that is our shared vision. [applause] now, i know that many of you share my frustration sometimes, in terms of the state of the
peace process. there's so much work to do. but here's what i know -- there's no question about how lasting peace will be achieved. peace can't be imposed from the outside. ultimately, it is the israelis and the palestinians who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them. [applause] and the fact that peace is hard can't deter us from trying. because now more than ever, it's clear that a just and lasting peace is in the long- term interests of israel. it is in the long-term interests of the palestinian people. it is in the interest of the region. it is the interest of the united states, and it is in the interest of the world. and i am not going to stop in pursuit of that vision. it is the right thing to do. [applause] now, that vision begins with a
strong and secure state of israel. [applause] and the special bonds between our nations are ones that all americans hold dear because they're bonds forged by common interests and shared values. they're bonds that transcend partisan politics -- or at least they should. [applause] we stand with israel as a jewish democratic state because we know that israel is born of firmly held values that we, as americans, share: a culture committed to justice, a land that welcomes the weary, a people devoted to tikkun olam. [applause] so america's commitment --
america's commitment and my commitment to israel and israel's security is unshakeable. it is unshakeable. [applause] i said it in september at the united nations. i said it when i stood amid the homes in sderot that had been struck by missiles: no nation can tolerate terror. and no nation can accept rockets targeting innocent men, women, and children. no nation can yield to suicide bombers. [applause] and as ehud has said, it is hard to remember a time when the united states has given
stronger support to israel on its security. in fact, i am proud to say that no u.s. administration has done more in support of israel's security than ours. none. don't let anybody else tell you otherwise. it is a fact. [applause] i'm proud that even in these difficult times we've fought for and secured the most funding for israel in history. i'm proud that we helped israel develop a missile defense system that's already protecting civilians from rocket attacks. [applause] another grave concern -- and a threat to the security of israel, the united states and the world -- is iran's nuclear program. and that's why our policy has been absolutely clear: we are determined to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
[applause] and that's why we've worked painstakingly from the moment i took office with allies and partners, and we have imposed the most comprehensive, the hardest-hitting sanctions that the iranian regime has ever faced. we haven't just talked about it, we have done it. and we're going to keep up the pressure. [applause] and that's why, rest assured, we will take no options off the table. we have been clear. we're going to keep standing with our israeli friends and allies, just as we've been doing when they've needed us most. in september, when a mob threatened the israeli embassy in cairo, we worked to ensure that the men and women working there were able to get out safely. [applause]
last year, when raging fires threatened haifa, we dispatched fire-fighting planes to help put out the blaze. [applause] on my watch, the united states of america has led the way, from durban to the united nations, against attempts to use international forums to delegitimize israel. and we will continue to do so. [applause] that's what friends and allies do for each other. so don't let anybody else tell a different story. we have been there, and we will continue to be there. those are the facts. [applause] and when i look back on the last few years, i'm proud of the decisions i've made, and i'm proud of what we've done together. but today isn't about resting on our laurels. as your tradition teaches,
we're not obligated to finish the work, but neither are we free to desist from it. [applause] we've got to keep going. so today we look forward to the world not just as it is but as it could be. and when we do, the truth is clear: our union is not yet perfect. our world is still in desperate need of repair. and each of us still hears that call. and the question is, how we will respond? in this moment, every american, of every faith, every background has the opportunity to stand up and say: here i am.
hineni. here i am. i am ready to keep alive our country's promise. i am ready to speak up for our values at home and abroad. i am ready to do what needs to be done. the work may not be finished in a day, in a year, in a term, in my part. [applause] and i believe that with tradition as our guide, we will seize that opportunity. and in the face of daunting odds, we will make the choices that are hard but are right. that's how we've overcome tougher times before. that's how we will overcome the challenges that we face today. and together, we will rewrite the next chapter in america's story and prove that our best days are still to come. thank you, god bless you, god bless the united states of america. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] . holiday, c-span's -- >> later today's c-span's coverage of the road to the white house. rick santorum will hold a town hall meeting. we hope to bring that to you later on the c-span networks. on capitol hill this morning, the senate was in finishing business for the year. they are still working on general features. you can follow them live on c- span2. they passed the nine -- $915 spending bill. that bill will go on to the house as early as monday. there is also a disaster-aid bill that also passed. the bill to pay for that was rejected.
president obama announced he will be holding a briefing at 12:30 eastern time. we hope to bring his remarks on the c-span network's. -- networks. republican presidential candidate mitt romney talked about his job plan and the economy in sioux city, iowa yesterday. he said that prayer should be allowed on schools -- in schools. he was introduced by his wife. the event began with former 2012 republican presidential candidate and minnesota governor tim pawlenty, who endorsed romney earlier this year after ending his own presidential bid. this is about 50 minutes. ♪
>> my name is tim pawlenty. i am the former governor of the state just north of here, minnesota. i will spare you my only -- joke. this is the one state in the country where i can tell those jokes and people get them. i want to share with you a couple of quick thoughts as i introduced mrs. romney -- introduce mrs. romney. i met a 10 year-old boy who gave me his theory on how we can grow jobs in the united states of america. he said, "governor, if you keep the taxes low, then people will have more money. and if people have more money, then they will buy more things. and if they buy more things, then businesses will be busier. if businesses are busier, they will hire more people. and then those people will have more money.
and so on and so on." we should not have to have a 10- year-old boy know more about jobs and the economy than the united states president, barack obama. [applause] i share that story with you because we have somebody running for president of united states who, in my view, is the most favorable, knowledgeable, and delectable candidate in the field of -- and electable candidate in the field. how to best grow jobs in the united states of america -- the answer is not best answer by politicians in washington, d.c., who spent their whole lives there. the answer is to go to question people who started their lives and businesses from investing in businesses, provided jobs -- started their lives in business, invested in business, provided jobs. mitt romney has started
businesses, invested in business, grown jobs. when you talk to people in iowa, minnesota, all across the country and you ask what their hopes and dreams are, what they care most about, they always say, i am worried about whether i can get my health care premiums paid. i'm worried about whether my kids can go to college or not, of whether i can afford it. i grew up in a meat packing town. my dad was a truck driver. my mom was a homemaker. i saw firsthand what it means about the power of a family to have opportunity mostly through jobs. a gentleman standing to my right that you're going to hear from 40 minutes -- the gentleman standing to my right that you're going to hear from is the right guy to lead us back to a pro- jobs, pro-growth economy. before he comes up, i want to introduce his wife. she has many wonderful characteristics and traits. the best sermons are not just
preached, they are lived. it is one thing to talk the talk. it is another thing to walk the walk. when you look at the life that the romney's have led, integrity, leadership, reaching out to serve, these are individuals of incredible depth and character. i am really proud that people of this quality would step forward and say, i want to lead this country. we're not want to wake up during the campaign, when mitt romney is president of the united states, and be in paris this -- and be embarrassed by anything they do. i am proud to support them. i hope he will support them in the iowa caucuses -- you will support them in the iowa caucuses. i want to introduce you to someone who would be a fabulous first lady for the united states of america.
>> thank you. i look at these bases. you could be other places this morning, doing other things -- at these faces. you could be other places this morning, doing other things. we appreciate that you are here. when tim was talking about his upbringing and family -- we all have our own stories. my father grew up in wales. my grandfather was a welsh coal miner. there was very little bread on the table at times in my father's life. they struggled. my grandfather had a terrible coal mine accident and ended up coming to america, like so many of your ancestors did, for opportunity. i feel so many times as though i have 1 foot still in wales, still so close to those lives and the difficulties in their
lives. how close we all are in so many ways. we're worried about america right now. i think we recognize that america is heading in the wrong direction and that the sacrifices that our ancestors made and that we're making, you are making common to make sure your children have all the opportunities in the world -- we worry about those things right now. we are running. he is running, but i am supporting him. it is not about us. it is about america. this land and this country is the hope of the earth. it has got to remain that way. i feel very strongly there is only one person that can truly turn this country around and keep america the way we think it should be, the hope of the earth. i am thrilled to be here. i appreciate all of you coming
out this morning. let's hear from mitt. [applause] >> thank you. bob, i see you have constructed a stage this morning that is not about to go anywhere. look at this thing. what do we have here? it looks about 20 pieces of steel put together here. i am reminded of our experience in dubuque, iowa, years ago. i was on one side, ann was on the other. her side collapses. she falls down and hits her backside. a big "oohh"from the audience. she said she fell on her butt in dubuque.
we're not worried about that happening this morning. we appreciate your being here today. good people have good jobs as a result of people building this building. it is not just the building. it is what goes on here, the thinking and innovation that allows the 70 odd people who work here -- those jobs are associated with a number of things that make it work. if any one of those things stop working, those jobs would be gone. what is happening here is happening in places all over the country. this is how i spent my life, in businesses like this, learning how they work to make them better. i was sometimes successful and sometimes not. as soon as ann walked in, she
said it reminded her of jared. it was her father's company. they made various ship parts for the navy. there are a lot of opportunities there. she came in and smelled the smell and said it was like jerry. i know how much that meant to her. my dad was born in mexico. ann's dad was born in wales. there were similar in some respects in what happened in their lives. my dad's family came back to the united states. they were american citizens. they came back several years after he was born. his dad was a contractor. construction goes up and down. now and then, they owned a business that went bankrupt.
he was a drywall carpenter. he never got a time or money to get a college degree. he did not think that would prevent him from realizing his dreams. he ultimately became head of a car company. he then became governor of a state. he believed in america. he believed that in america, the circumstance of your birth does not prevent you from accomplishing what you might want to achieve. he came into the company was going to run, american motors. they made ramblers and jeeps. i see a couple of nodders. did you have a jeep? a grim one? not our finest hour. [laughter] my dad was made the new head of the company. the stock collapsed. i remember mom and dad talking
about whether the banks will provide ongoing financing or whether they might not survive. my dad went around and convinced the banks and employees the company could survive. he brought in a new idea. there were making big cars called nashes and hudsons. they had made a car to a few years before called the nash rambler. my dad thought that was the future. he reintroduced the same car. he brought the car back when george mason was still alive. they brought that back in so that. they increasingly focus the company on the small car. he called a compact car. he coined that term, the compact car. my english teacher in high school would say to me that my dad was ruining the english language because a compact is what a woman uses to powder her nose.
it is compact and more compact. my dad coined the term compact car, i believe. he started selling the cars and turning the company around. as a result, a lot of people had good jobs for a long time. innovation, risk-taking, vision. that is the nature of what allows a place like this to be a business. years ago, the original business got tough. the margins got squeezed more. it looked like the business would not be able to survive. someone had the idea to come up with the slagger. it was people from the shop who said to make cutting tables and sell at around the world. at the high point, you are selling 100 a year. right now, the economy is struggling. innovation right here with men and women seeing opportunity
keep this place going. if you don't have new ideas for 10 years, you will be out of business in 10 years. competition will copy what you have done. it will steal your ideas and designs. it will try to out-compete you. you always have to be renovating and creating. that is what is extraordinary about america. in this country, we have men and women with ideas, technology, thinking. we also have the freedom to be able to implement those things. we allow risks to be taken. we do the things that allow enterprise to grow and thrive. it is a remarkable thing, business. very few things stay the same over time. what concerns me is in washington we have a class of people who spend their whole time in washington. they do not understand what you do. they do not understand how the economy works. you see this from time to time. i think our president is a nice
guy, but he has no appreciation of what it takes to work in a facility like this, to come up with ideas to create new products to compete around the world, to be able to sell its product to germany knowing that china is also trying to sell the same product. he does not understand that because [inaudible] in the past, we were so strong we could out-compete anyone in the world. now we have big competition from our european ancestors and the more populist nature -- nations like china and india. we face real competition around the world. we need a government that sees their job as encouraging you in the private sector, making it easier to take risks and its capital and loans to make the investments necessary to keep a place like this going. i have watched our president of
the last three years. i shake my head and said he is over his head. he does not understand what is needed. he goes to the banking industry and puts in place a 2700 page bill with thousands of new pages of regulations to be written. those things make it harder for banks to make loans to businesses like this. it makes it harder for you to sell products around the world and get the credit union to do so. then he puts in place something called obamacare. there are a lot of things i do not like about it. one of those things is scaring small employers. small businesses are saying they are not sure they can afford to hire people anymore because of obamacare. he had another idea. he said businesses that are not union with the employees do not have we do want -- where the employees do not want unions, we will take away the idea of the secret ballot. that is a bad idea has been
promoting. it would allow intimidation to encourage people to vote a certain way. that will scare away employers, and entrepreneurs, and innovators. i want to keep america the most attractive place in the world for every kind of innovation, an investment, and job growth. i am the product of a mom and dad who took risks and were highly successful. then i went off on my own and started my own business. i have learned from that. i had experience working in businesses that helped me understand what it takes to keep this business going and see more businesses and enterprises are run the country grow and add jobs. the more businesses we have successful, the more we will have people working. the more they're working, the more they can buy in a better
business is. it is good for us to have trade with other nations. how many of these sluggers -- slaggers these sell outside the united states? what other places have you sold them? china, sweden, denmark, germany, israel. saudi arabia. they will go out around the world. i want more places for our goods to go. i want people to think it is easy to buy products from the united states of america. i want more markets open. i want to make sure that as we compete with other people that make something like a slagger, i want them to understand they had better not cheat or the nine states will step in and stop them from cheating.
there are some cheaters when it comes to fair trade. one of them is china. they have been stealing designs, patents, technology. they also manipulated their currency so that their products are artificially low-priced. you cannot allow that to go on year after year. i want to use the experience i have in the world of the free enterprise system to make sure american gets working again. i am running in this race because i understand how to get middle-class americans prosperous again, working again, buying things, and putting more americans back to work. i happen to believe that is what america needs and that is what america wants. [applause] i am going to turn to you and ask if you have a question or two. this is kind of a daunting
scenario with the lights and the flag. nonetheless, i will ask you for some questions in a moment. you probably do not need a microphone. i can repeat the question. i want to hear your thoughts. i want to say one more thing. ann mention these are tough times. they are tough times. you have jobs. i hope your spouses do. these are tough times. these are tough times even for those with jobs. the average median income has dropped 10% in the last four years. the prices of the things you are buying are not going down. gasoline is not. food is not. health costs are not. there is a real squeeze in america for middle-class families like those in this room. it feels tough. then we see 26 million people out of work, having stopped
looking for work, or working part-time. home values in parts of the country have dropped by 1/3 or more. these are tough times. a lot of people think the future is not as bright as the past. i am convinced the future is a good deal brighter than the present. for our kids and grandkids, it will be every bit as great that we have enjoyed in the greatest generation enjoy. we are still the most inventive nation in the world. we still have ideas. we have extraordinary assets and technology we can draw upon. we have financial resources. we have a powerful economy. we are the help of the earth. -- we are the hope of the earth. we have a highly patriotic people who will do whatever is necessary to keep america strong. one thing that most impressed me about my chance to run the olympics in 2002 was noticing
that when the national anthem was played, the young people in america is standing on the podium region who were standing on the podium with put their hand over their hearts. you could see them singing the words to the national anthem. sometimes they got them right. i asked where the tradition began applauding the hand over the heart during the national anthem. it began during the second world war. fdr asked us to do that in honor of the bloodshed in foreign places. we're a patriotic people. we love america. we're willing to sacrifice for america. if called upon by leaders who tell the truth and live with integrity and to know how to lead, and i hope to be one of those leaders, i need your help
with the caucus. bob was telling me the caucus site at a high school gets full. get there early. i want to be one of the leaders who will tell the truth, lives with integrity, and knows how to lead and will put america back to work with rising incomes again because i love this country and i know how to do it. thank you so much for your help this morning. [applause] last night you saw the debate if you had nothing better to do. [laughter] that means two or three of you saw the debate. if you have any further questions, i am happy to respond to anything you may have this morning. yes, sir. >> [unintelligible]
>> i will not repeat all the compliments. i wish i had given you a microphone so everyone could hear it. the question is what i will do on the first day. i have a long list. there are a series of bills that i will file. there are a series of executive orders that i will ask for immediately. let me mention some of those. number one, i am going to direct the secretary of health and human services to grant a waiver from obamacare for all 50 states so we can stop obamacare in its tracks. [applause] i will go on to file legislation to repeal obamacare
and instead return to the states their constitutional responsibility and right to care for the needs of their poor and those who are uninsured. that is one item. no. two, i will direct the secretary of energy to provide licenses to drillers to start developing our energy resources in this country and get the oil and gas we need. that is number two. number three is a little controversy. i will designate china as a currency manipulator. under our law, that allows the president to apply tariffs where the president leaves the currency manipulation has cost jobs or is unfair. i will look at what they have done with regards to stealing intellectual property as well as where they had hiked into computers to steal technology. i will apply tariffs where i believe they are necessary to
make sure they understand we will not allow them any more to play on an uneven playing field. i will also make sure that it will be a level playing field and change the president's executive order. i will file a piece of legislation that allowed -- it relates to taxes for employers. this goes back to what governor pollen to a -- pawlenty engine. we have the highest taxes for employers. we are tied with japan. europe is about 10 points lower. i will bring our rate down to 25% for employers and take on special exemptions companies currently get so we do not lose revenue. at the same time, we will bring rates down some businesses are
able to stay in this country and will not have to pay higher taxes to do so. otherwise, they will leave. i do not want businesses to leave here going elsewhere because they can get a huge tax break. i want the jobs to stay here. there is something else i will do. it relates to taxation and the other big burden on small business. that is regulation. sometimes in my party, we say we are for deregulation. remain -- remain that it has become too heavy, we want to shrink it down. you have to have some regulation and law to make the market work. i want to get our regulation down to be supportive of industry rather than overwhelming industry. i have watched this president. his administration has been out of control when it comes to regulations. the rate of regulatory introduction in this country,
new regulations, has quadrupled under this president. on day one, i will put a halt to all the regulations put in during the obama years. i will take a look at them and get rid of any of them better costing american jobs. those of the first things i will get going on on day one. i have the economic plan that includes 59 different steps. we will get going on them from the beginning. thank you for the question. [applause] anybody else? yes, sir. >> what are you doing for agriculture? we are trying to get started in farming. it is virtually impossible with land costing $24,000 an acre. the equipment is extremely expensive. farmers are using their employees to get money from the government. i think he should completely do away with the farm program and
get rid of it. make us sink or swim on our own. give incentives to get young people back in here. >> i love the idea of having people who want to have the chance of starting a farm and working in agriculture having a dream come true. i have the chance when i was 15 to work on the ranch in idaho. my uncle had gotten out of the business world in the automobile sector and bought a ranch in idaho. his uncle had a ranch called thousand springs. as the name would suggest, it had a lot of water on it. that is good and ranching. the ranch michael bought did not have a lot of springs. it was tougher. -- the ranch my uncle bought did not have a lot of springs. it was tougher. it was one of the greatest experiences of my life working on that ranch. one of the greatest challenges we have in agriculture today is getting loans.
i talked to community bankers and ask why they are not providing loans like they did in the past. i am hearing from them that a bill called dodd-frank that put a host of new regulations on them scared the dickens out of them. they have pulled back, not sure they will be able to pass government inspections. it has made it harder for young people to get the loans they need to start in farming. i would like to change that. there is another thing i would like to do. i know this is also controversial. some think we should not worry about ethanol. i like the fact that ethanol is part of our energy mix. ethanol is an important part of our energy security. i do not want to keep sending money overseas to buy energy there when we have energy resources here. one of the renewable resources is ethanol. i believe the subsidy put in
place in the past made sense. that subsidy is going away now that the industry is on its feet. i believe that renewable fuel standards should be kept in place so we encourage people to invest in the agriculture sector. that has been good for agriculture and. it has been tougher for people buying a farm because the price of farm land has gone up. i will do my best to keep the american agriculture system alive and well. i do not want to see us do to farming what we have done to manufacturing. we have allowed manufacturing in many cases to leave the country. i do not want to see that happen to agriculture. thank you. i appreciate it. [applause] yes, ma'am. >> there will be many more locations this year. you do not have to worry about getting their an hour early. there'll be plenty of opportunities at different locations. >> if you are voting for me, the
date is january 3. the other folks are taking their boats in on january 4. -- their votes in on january 4. [laughter] just kidding. >> what are you going to do to get "in god we trust" back in this country? i would like to see that back in this country again. >> i know some people would like to make this a secular nation. they want to take god out of everything that exists in this country. it is hard given the fact that our founding document, the declaration of independence, notes that we were endowed by our creator or with certain unalienable rights. how do you take god of america when the declaration of
independence notes he gave us our rights in the first place? i think we should be able to have religious ornamentation and celebration in the public square. whether that is a manger or menorah or symbols of other faiths, it is important to recognize we look to god for many of our blessings. i have had the chance to read some of the stories about the early days of the revolution. i have had the chance, i am sure you have, to read some of these stories about the early days of the revolution and how many times we were in a tight spot. and how many times george washington felt that it was only through the blessings of providence that this nation was able to become a free and able to win our independence militarily. we have been blessed by our creator. i think it's appropriate for us to recognize that in the public square. i think that at school celebrations, we should be able to have prayer there. i am not looking for teachers to have prayer every day in the classroom, but i do think at
special ceremonies, graduation, football games, and the like, that calling on our creator is a good idea. and to recognize that on this earth, they're sending more than just ourselves. by the way, i know there are a lot of people that do not believe in god, and that is their right. we do not want to impose on those folks. one of those things i love about the country is that whether you are believing or non-believing, you typically have something that is more important to you in your life than just yourself. it is the great thing about our country. we are bigger than ourselves. we're willing to sacrifice for things to believe in. for many of us, it is our god. for others, it is our country and our family, the future of this country. those things combined to be a great source of sacrifice. it is part of who we are. we live person to greater than ourselves in this country. if we lose that, we lose a great deal of what makes america american.
i love the stories of that french historian, the french historian came here long ago and tried to understand what made america an extraordinary land. one of those things was our willingness to help care for one another and to sacrifice our own interests for the interest of our fellow citizens. it is a great country, and i trust in god. and i know you do. and i believe that it is appropriator in the public square for us to recognize that we do, indeed, have a creator and that we trust in our creator, particularly at this time of the year. thank you. [applause] yes, sir? >> i was wondering if you could touch on entitlements a little bit. your first day in office will be busy, but maybe sometime later in the week you can talk about entitlements. >> [laughs] thank you. i help identify all that bill on i hope i get to file that bill on day one.
it might be that paul ryan is able to get that under way in completed before then. probably not, but i sure hope so. but i do not think this president is likely to take any bold or courageous step as it relates to an issue as important as that. last night i mentioned a couple of things. one is you have all heard that we have a huge deficit every year. we spend more money than we take in. that is getting to be a big problem. and this president, by the end of his four years, will have put in place as much total deficit or a total debt as all the prior presidents combined, almost. it is extraordinary how much he has borrowed. so the national debt has come to a point of about $15 trillion, and that threatens america, because as some point the people who loaned us that extra $1 trillion of a deficit each year, the people who loaned us the money will say i am not willing to loan it anymore, unless you pay me a lot of higher interest rates. then evens start happening, and
it starts eating up our budget. interest rates from everything, from cars to being able to get financing because diesel a slows down and a lot of people have got to work. this does that matters, and we have to stop that. there is something else that matters. that is the promises that we have made to one another that we have not put money aside to pay for. and the total of those entitlement promises comes to about $62 trillion. medicare, and social security. that money has been spent, the money you have put in over the years was grabbed by congress and spend. that? for those who are retired or near retirement, we're fine. we can care for those. but for young people coming
along in their 20's, '30's, '40's, and early '50s, we have to make sure we're telling people the truth. this week was a big week. because of republican congressmen and a democrat senator came together and said we have got an idea for making medicare work. now knows the kind of proud, -- now i am kind of proud because it was the same idea to put forward about a month ago. so i am pretty excited about it, and the fact that a democrat and republican came together and proposed it is good news. in means that there is a willingness on both sides of the aisle to deal with a tough problem. the idea was this -- with regards to medicare in the future -- i will call it medicare version 2.0 for young people coming along, for medicare in the future, you'll be able to get a premium support payment as a retiree, and you can use that to the by traditional medicare or to buy a private plan. and they will compete. the private plans with the government medicare. and, by the way, people of higher income will get a smaller payment.
they will get a smaller subsidy or premium support payments. people of lower income will get a higher payment. and if you do those things, we can make medicare sustainable forever and get rid of that huge overhang of over-promise. on the social security said, similarly, we can bring down the rate of growth in the social security payments for high-income recipients of the future. again, no change for people already retired or near retirement. but that means for someone in their 20's, they know that they're going to make a lot of money in their life, and their social security payment is going to be less than for some new lives through their life with more modest means. again, those kinds of changes allow us to keep those programs solvent and protect them and provide them for the next generations. finally, medicaid. you wonder what medicaid is, those that are not into all this government stuff. i have to admit, i do not know
the differences between these things before i got into government. then i got into it and understood that medicaid is the health care program for the poor, by and large. that is a program that runs very, very fast. the federal government picks up half the bill. the state picks up the other half. i would go to government and take its money and give it back to iowa and say, i like, you craft your own program in the way you think best to take care of your own poor. we're not going to get the federal government tell you how to care for your own people. because, by the way, their differences between being poor in mississippi or michigan or massachusetts or montana or iowa or ohio, so let states craft their own programs and then run that program, that inflation a year. -- cravat program at inflation plus 1%. if we do that, by the way, we saved about $100 billion a year.
by the fourth year i would be in office. so i get those programs to work by making relatively modest changes, and you might think, how are you going to get this through congress? good news if we have democrats and republicans seeing eye-to- eye on this right now. number two, we need to have a leader. i am going to close with this thought. one of the things you know here is that someone has to be a leader in this enterprise. maybe it is bob. i presume it it is. right here. is it john? it is john. [laughter] john is laughing and saying, it sure is, bob. [laughter] and you need to have someone, a leader -- by the way, with being a leader means is not that you make all the decisions or that you are always right. being a leader means that you can listen to other people, and you can hear ideas and then get them done. that you know how to build a team of good people that can
work together. that is what being a leader means. it is not being a boss, it is being a leader. i have had the unusual experience of watching a leader as a boy. my dad, i watched him run that car company. i watched him run for governor. i want to as governor. i used to watch him in his office interacting with members of his administration. i sort of learned by watching him. then i got a chance to run a business and to start a business. and then to go off and run the olympics. and i got a chance to be a governor of a state. and in that leadership experience, i learned in -- by the way, i learned from successes and failures. not everything i touched turned out well. those experiences, i think are needed in washington. it we need a leader there. we have got a lot of people on the republicans it -- republican stage, any one a better president than we have now. but i also think is helpful to have a leader in washington who knows how to bring people together and who understands in his heart and in his core how to make the economy work for the american people. that is what i hope you understand i represent. by the way, i am concerned about the poor in this country.
i want to make sure we have a safety net to care for the poor. if there holes in that safety net, i want to fix it. i am not terribly concerned about the rich in this country. the region doing just fine. as a word about the whole people in the middle, the middle class. that is the group want to see get to work again with good jobs. i want a good job for everybody who wants one, with higher income, with the confidence that the future will be bright. i want to be your president as a leader and to work with you to make sure that america remains the shining city on the hill. i love this country with all my heart. i learned that from my mother and father. and what to make sure that america remains as it has always been, the hub of the earth. -- hope of the earth. thank you so much. it has been an -- i want to make sure america remains as it always has been, the hope of the earth. thank you so much. john, bob, thank you. [applause]
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] ♪ >> born free i was born free i was born free born free free like a river raging strong in the wind and chasing dreams and facing father time deep like the grandest canyon wild like an uncaged stallion my heart cannot be blind you cannot me down and watch me believe that you cannot keep no change
comes from a small farming community. he grew up on a cotton farm. he served our country as a pilot in the united states air force and has served the state of texas as governor for more than a decade. his home state has created more than one million jobs as -- during his tenure as a governor even as america lost jobs. a former proud texan, would you governormerica's jobs and republican candidate for president rick perry. [applause] >> thank you both very much. it is an honor to be here. i had a couple of my folks who
came by last night and had dinner here. they said it was the best italian food they had ever had. quite a compliment, i would say. quite a structure. we were down at the cafe earlier, and they were telling about moving this place from where it was on main street to relocating here on the river banks. it is good to be here. i think we're working on 18 hours now, so we do not stay anywhere very long, but it has been very hospitable, and thank you all for coming out. i want to say thank you for your help and your support, and for helping set up today and make it happen. for all of you that are here, i want to take a few minutes and share with you why i want to ask you to go caucus for me on january 3rd. the 27th, we will be back in
iowa. i think we stake through just right before christmas and then we are coming back and spending time in iowa. i would choose as the president. i honestly want to ask -- iowa chooses the president. i want to ask you for your support. i love this country. this country has given me some much more than i will ever be able to repay no matter what i do. i serve as a pilot in the united states air force, coming back and making the decision to give back to my state as a state representative and then as the governor here for the last almost 11 years. but i will never be able to give this country back, but this is part of it. i think all of us can probably say that in some form or fashion, the this country, the freedoms that made this country great is really what we are fighting for, what we are standing for.
it is why this election is so important. we all know we have got some problems. as a matter of fact, we have some big problems in this country. i can kind of diagram one of those big problems we have got. if you take a map of the united states and draw a straight line between washington d.c. and wall street, that is the problem. we have the wall street types and you have these federal agencies, whether it is freddie mac or fannie mae, members of congress that are -- in my opinion, very corrupt and fraudulent, as crashing each others back and logrolling, if you will. people on wall street have become insanely rich because of policies that a benefit and place in washington, d.c. and uni -- main street is paying for this. we are seeing these billions of
dollars. i thought $700 billion of tarp money was bad. that kind of spun me up through the ceiling, when $700 billion was used to get these banks out of hock. then we find out a few weeks ago that that was a paltry money. $7.7 trillion -- i mean, i cannot hardly get my arms around that amount of money. $7.7 trillion the was transferred from the federal reserve, printed up money, to ore, pay these banks off mar to get them out of hock while they were making $13 billion and profits and there were hundreds of billions of dollars more in bonuses being paid to the leadership of these banks. that is what is wrong with america, these insiders, whether they are on wall street or in
the halls of congress, have put our country right on the presidents of bankruptcy. that is the reason i would suggest across this country that there has got to be an outsider who comes in and who does not have those ties. who does not have a long history of being part of the problem, and, you know, i am all about main street. look at what we have done in the state of texas. texas would be the 13th largest economy in the world if it were a stand-alone entity. and so, the policies that we put in place in texas will work on a grand scale. keeping the taxes as low as you can on the job creators. having regulatory programs that are fair and predictable. you do that in washington, d.c., and you have a balanced budget amendment to the united states constitution.
you have that type of discipline. and only an outsider, i would suggest to you, is going to be able to walk into washington, d.c., and have the credibility, and have the record to be able to get this country back on track. clean of the corruption in washington and on wall street. no bailouts and know earmarks. i will talk about earmarks' in a second, but if the bill comes to my desk that has earmarked sonic, the old veto pen is coming out. -- earmarks on it, the old veto pen is coming out. that is the kind of discipline we have to put in place. you're not being bailed out. the idea that we are talking about bailing out big companies that are too big to fail, we -- you know what? if they're too big to fail, they are too big. the idea that we're talking
about bailing out wall street horror that there is conversation about bailing out european banks, that is nonsense. what washington needs to be doing is putting policies in place that frees up on your pernfors from over taxation and over regulation. -- freeze up on tripper newer -- entrepreneurs ippe from over-taxation and over- regulation. i shared with you that during the time that i was governor the state of texas, we created over 1 million new jobs. in the last couple of days, as there was a new list of the best performing cities in america. four of those 5 cities were in
my home state. and it did not happen by accident. it is because we have been disciplined. we put tax policy and regulatory policy in place that has allowed people to be able to know that they can risk their capital and have a chance to have a return on their investment. that is what it is going to take in washington, d.c. an insider from wall street or insiders from washington, d.c., is not going to do it. who is going to be standing up for conservative values? who is going to be standing up for young people like yourselves that are in the work force, just getting started out there? whether it is overhauling social security, making sure that these programs that are going to be in place -- and folks that are on social security, that program is going to be there for you.
guys that are nearing retirement age, it is going to be there for us. but for those of you in the work force, we have to be honest with you. we are going to overhaul social security. whether it is using private accounts for up the age. we have to go forward and do this. the most important issue, i would suggest to you, is spending. this concept of earmarks -- i mean, i would suggest to you that earmarks is of play. it is a plague on congress. two opponents that i highly respect, new gingrich and dr. run paul. but they -- i mean, newt was the originator of earmarks back in
the 1990's. if there was a granddaddy of earmarks, he would be it. and run paul, -- ron paul, he is still berthing earmarks as we speak. he was only one of four republicans -- you know, republicans stood up and said, we are going to do away with earmarked, and dr. paul was one of them. he has over the last years created half a billion dollars in special interest in remarks. one of them was for $2 million for bike racks, trash cans and decorative street lighting in 1 of the cities in his district. i will be honest with you. i do not think that is where our money is need to be spent. we have an economic crisis on our hands, and we have got to
have people who have the discipline to just say no to spending until we get this debt crisis that we have in this country under control. for some people, in remarks have become an art form -- earmarks have become an art form. newt double them when he was in congress. he would have tough legislation and go to his fellow people and say, let's put these here marks and so that you can go back to your district. -- but these earmarks' in so that you can go back to your district. we need someone to go to d.c. and say no to all of this special interest funding.
this campaign is not about me. the fact of the matter is, not my purpose in life was not to be the president of the united states. but this country is in trouble. and all of us have a duty to get this country back in shape, to put it back on track with the values that we know this country was founded upon. our founding fathers, who saw and felt that overburdening, far away, centralized government that was dictating to them how to use -- how to live their lives 200 years ago, and we face that same pressure now from an all consuming government along way from iowa, but they are telling you how to live your life. they're telling your kids how
and why they cannot pray in school. they're telling you have to have health care. there department of education is out here trying to tell people in iowa how to educate your children. and americans are tired of that. they want an outsider to walk into washington, d.c., to use their veto pen to get this spending binge under control so america can be strong economically again, because if we are not strong economically again, we're not going to be strong militarily, and if we are not strong militarily, we are not going to be strong around the world. this all goes back to having economic sense put back into washington, d.c., to stop the corruption, to stop this washington to wall street nonsense that has been going on. and i want to -- i just want to share with you one thing before i wrap up. if you have my back here in
spencer and across iowa on january 3rd, i am going to have your back when i am president of the united states, and i am going to get up and fight for you every day. i am going to try to make washington, d.c. as inconsequential in your life as i can. i think we ought to make congress part-time. cut their pay, send them back to their districts, allow them to have jobs like you all have, work in their districts with their constituents, spend a whole lot more time back in their districts, and i guarantee you, we will see a whole lot less problems coming out of washington, d.c. some folks have said wait a minute. you cannot do that. there is too much going on for them not to be there full time. in my home state -- and i share with you, it is a big state, 13th largest economy in the world, second most populous state in the nation.
our legislature early -- our legislature meets for 140 days every other year. and we have that balanced budget amendment to our constitution. they come in, they get their work done, and then they go home to their real jobs, their day jobs, if you will, and live within the laws of which they passed. i know in my heart that if washington, d.c. would work under those same kind of parameters -- i am going to walk into washington and i am going to bring a budget for word that is going to cut $5 trillion out of obama budget that he laid down. we are going to eliminate departments of government. we're going to create millions of jobs, whether it is opening
of federal land so that we can use the energy that is under the federal land -- we have 300 years of energy in this country, the we're spending hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign countries for their ordeal, a lot of times countries that are hostile to the united -- for their oil, a lot of times countries that are hostile to the united states. that is a kind of leadership we need in this country. i am the anti-washington, anti- street outsider that america needs. again, if you have my back on january 3rd, i will have your back in washington, d.c. god bless you and thank you for being here today. i'm going to open it up for a few questions if i may. hey, buddy. how are you? that is what this is all about.
he may want to ask the first question. yes. >> thank you for being here today, governor. you said repeatedly that you are the outsider candidate. another outsider candidate was herman cain, who dropped out a few weeks ago. he was a businessman who was very popular here. he told barbara walters that he would like to be secretary of defense. he has experience running large corporations. would you consider putting herman cain, another washington outsider, in charge of your defense department? >> is a little early to be deciding a cabinet, but he has all of the characteristics of the type of people i would bring forward. i want to share with year
characteristics of a government that being a former air force pilot, being the commander in chief of the texas national guard for the last almost 11 years and seeing our men and women deployed and the costs to our state of the loss of equipment, you know, frankly, having a businessman or woman who has both a deepened understanding of how to balance books, how to find unfair out fraud and excessive spending is very important -- fined and ferret out fraud and excessive spending is very important to the department of defense. i think we have cut too much from the defense department already. this president, i think, is playing with fire and putting america in jeopardy and showing a lack of leadership when they
created the super committee instead of him being there every day to help write a budget. if they did not get that done, half a trillion dollars more was going to be cut out of the department of defense budget. i consider that to be irresponsible for this president. the question is not whether he has been a failed president. that has been answered. the question is going to be, who are we going to put back into place? and bringing outsiders to washington, d.c., people who share my philosophy, who are not worried about the next job, are not worried about going to wall street and getting a cushy job after we help them get special interest, people like herman cain who understand hard decisions, sometimes you just have to bear down. the epa, an agency that is costing this country hundreds of thousands if not millions of
jobs because of this administration's love affair with the radical environmental left. one of the reasons this pipeline, that creates tens of thousands of jobs if not hundreds of thousands of jobs, from canada day on -- down into the united states to be refined here, and the jobs that would be created, the independence from foreign sources of oil, and yet this president has said publicly that he is going to veto that bill. i hope he comes to his senses. i mean, you're going to trade the next election and support in the next election for jobs today in america? that is not leadership. we need somebody in the epa to
be philosophically will walk in there and test every regulation that has been put on the books since 2008, and test them if they create jobs or they kill jobs. if they kill jobs, throw them out. if they create jobs, we will consider leaving them in place. that is the type of philosophy -- and i think the herman cain is of the world -- washington does not go -- does not owe them a thing. but they owe america something. they'd go america and thank you for allowing german -- of america -- owe america thank you for allowing herman cain to become something. forget about all the self dealing and get rid of all the fraud and corruption we're seeing in washington, d.c. yes, ma'am.
over the course of the last few weeks. one of those has been -- there has been outrage from time to time and then they back off being able to have our chaplains go into walter reed, for instance, and take their bibles and and what have you, and then they backed off of that. but for instance, the catholic charities that were receiving some federal dollars to help with individuals who have been sexually trafficked, and they said, we're not going to let you have that money to the catholic charities because of your position in being anti-abortion. i consider that to be a direct war upon religion. the ideas we were talking about earlier, that you have -- this is not directly about this
president, but it is about those who support his leftist agenda. the judges on the supreme court make decisions about where and why our children can pray in school. he now -- i mean, has it come to this in this country? the we are going to have to work to pass a constitutional amendment to allow our children to pray publicly at our school? think about it. the biggest day of their young life is when they graduate from high school. to have some federal judge walking in and say you are not going to have an invocation, you're not going to say the word jesus, you're not going to say the word god, that is nonsense, in my opinion. we need a president of the united states that is not afraid
to profess their faith, that is a person of values. our founding fathers expressed their belief in the almighty creator. they put it in the declaration of independence. we were created, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. that means something. and we have allowed our freedoms to be chipped away as washington has gotten bigger and bigger and more powerful. our liberties have been constrained and have become smaller. i want to be that outsider that goes to washington, d.c. to bring back the values that make america a great. it requires putting in the constitution constitutional amendments, i will campaign all across this country to make it
happen, to get america back being america again. yes, ma'am. >> [inaudible] it is an option for the irs to do our taxes for us. we have to trust the irs. >> trust in the irs. [laughter] her question was, there is a piece of legislation by congressman cooper that would allow the irs to do our taxes for as. i am obviously not for that. i have a better idea. and that is to ultimately change the irs as we know it today.
from my perspective, it is about creating a flat tax. you put a flat tax of 20% on personal income. you deduct for mortgage interest. you deduct for taxes. you deduct for charitable contributions. you do away with the dividends tax and a capital gains tax, and then you take that amount of money, 20% of that, put it on a postcard, and militant. it should be that simple. corporate lee, a 20% tax rate. do away with every corporate loophole that is out there. that is the simplification that needs to occur in this country. and if you make it that simple, , you frankly do not need irs people.
i mean, obama care, and the tax code that even accountants and lawyers do not understand. simplify the taxes in this country and reduce the regulatory burden, and america will explode as a job creation country. i mean, we have the resources. we have the innovation. we have the technology. american can -- i mean, america can lead the world's economy back from the brink of disaster, but we have got to have the change in washington, d.c., and i would suggest to you that only an outsider like myself is going to come forward and make the change we need. last question.
>> [inaudible] what is your feeling about having a vice president who is a lady? >> i have no problem with that at all. the issue for me -- gender does not come into question. what comes into question is your values. what do you believe in? it will be someone that if the good lord decides to call me home while in the united states president, you will not notice any difference in the philosophy or the way that america would go forward from the standpoint of how washington needs to be less consequential in your life. you just might have a little different accent. god bless you all and thank you for coming out. hope you all are with us on january 3rd. [applause]
>> next, president obama's remarks on the senate passage of the payroll tax extension from the white house earlier this hour. >> a tax hike on january 1st. extending the payroll tax cuts that shows up in people's paychecks every week is something i proposed in september as part of the american jobs act. at a time when so many americans are working harder and harder just to keep up, the extra $1,000 that the average family would get from this tax cut would make a real difference when you are trying to buy groceries, pay bills, pay the mortgage or make a repair. all kinds of independent economists agree that the number one challenge facing businesses right now is the lack of consumers. if people are able to spend more money, businesses are more successful and able to hire more
workers. today, congress has agreed to extend that tax cut into next year. they have also agreed to another part of my plan, extending unemployment for americans out there who are working hard to find a job. that is a lifeline that would have been lost for more than two 0.5 million people in the first two months of next year if congress had not acted. i'm very pleased to see the work that the senate has done. while this agreement is for two months, it is my expectation -- in fact, it would be inexcusable for congress not to further extend this middle-class tax cut for the rest of the year. it should be a formality. hopefully, it is done with as little drama as possible when they get back in january. this really is not hard. they're plenty of ways to pay for these proposals.
it is a way to boost the economy that has been supported by the same democrats and republicans in the past. is something economists believe will assure that the economy in recovery is on a more stable footing than it otherwise would be. my preference and the preference of most americans is that we ask the wealthiest few americans to pay their share and for corporations to do without special tax subsidies to cover some of the costs, but i think it is important for us to get it done. we have a lot more work to do for the people who sent us here, but today i'm glad of both parties in congress came together, and i want to bank and for ensuring that as we head into the holidays, -- thank them for ensuring that as we head into the holidays, folks at home are not born to have a tax hike. i thank senator reid and senator
mcconnell for their cooperation on this issue. i look forward to the house passing this on monday. hopefully we will be able to make sure that everybody, when they get back next year, will extend this all the way through the air. thank you very much. >> we have been following the road to the white house this morning. later, we will hear from former pennsylvania senator rick santorum. he will be in iowa. we hope to bring you his remarks on the c-span network. you can find today's events as well as an overview of the road to the white house so far all in one place. just go on line to c-span.org. tomorrow on "washington journal," we will take a look at the latest developments in the 2012 presidential campaign with radio and tv talk show host
armstrong williams. after that, a discussion on surveillance and privacy issues. after that, the chair of the national transportation board on their budget and their role as an independent federal agency, all live tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c- span. >> there is much more to the newly designed c-span.org. more video, with 11 video choices, making it easy for you to watch today's events live and recorded. more features, including a three channel schedule layout so you can quickly scroll through all the programs on the c-span network. more access to our most popular series and programs like "washington journal," "campaign 2012," "book tv," and others. for some gift-giving ideas,
click on c-span products for dee dee's and books, mugs and more. -- d v ds and books, mugs and more. >> there is a new allegation being made in the collapse of financial derivatives company mf global that ceo john corzine knew that funds were being used inappropriately for loans. mr. corzine denied the allegation when he testified in front of the senate agricultural committee on tuesday. a court appointed trustee estimates that about $1.2 billion worth of customer funds are missing. >> our first witness is mr. john corzine. before becoming ceo of mf global, mr. corzine was the
governor of new jersey from 2006-2010. prior to that he was a senator for new jersey from 1995-1999. he worked for goldman sachs as a bond trader, eventually becoming chairman and ceo. next we have mr. bradley able, president and chief operating officer at mf global. prior to joining mf global, he was a founding partner of new world capital group. before founding new world, he was chief of staff to governor corzine. next, we have mr. steenkamp who manage a variety of capital-raising transactions on a global basis for multi-national companies. he is also a chartered
accountant. as with our previous panel, we would ask that you rise so i could administer an oath. do you swear the testimony you are about to present is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? thank you very much. at this point, we welcome mr. corzine. >> the statements of the previous panel pretty powerful week confirmed the harsh facts bankruptcy has's devastated people's lives and undermined confidence in the markets. i recognize my concerns about their anguish and loss of
confidence does not provide solace for those losses or hardships, and that is true whether those hurt were customers, employees, or investors. as a chief executive officer of mf global, and i say this with all sincerity, i truly apologize to those affected. i have provided a written statement to the committee, and i testified before the house committee on agriculture last week. i am here and your questions as well. before i do, i wish to make a few additional points in light of my early testimony. several questions last week concerned whether i was aware of any money that belonged to customers being used improperly. i tried to answer those questions to the best of my ability, but i want to be clear -- i never gave any instruction to miss use customer funds. i never intended anyone at mf
global to miss use customer funds. i also want to address the missing money. as i said, i was stunned to learn that hundreds of millions of dollars in funds were unreconciled. while people worked very hard into monday morning to reconcile the accounts, ultimately, their efforts were unsuccessful. in response to questions about the missing funds, the explanation was that the missing funds that would be necessary to analyze and reconcile multiple hundreds of pages of daily transactions, multiple bank statements from many countries, and to review account records of more than 38,000 customers. in the ordinary course of business, i would not have seen those records, and i do not have access to them now. what i do know is that at the last days of mf global, i was
focusing on selling the company and liquidating assets so there would be adequate cash and resources to handle what ultimately became a run on the bank. for example, thursday, i directed the sale of approximately $1.3 billion in commercial paper in order to meet anticipated customer demands. i also directed the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars of mf global pose a proprietary assets. friday, and directed the sale of other assets including government agency bonds, and attempted to sell other securities. as i sit here today, i do not know whether all of these and many other transactions were properly reported and effectuate it or whether banks and other counterparties involved in such transactions properly credit the right accounts for the sales or are holding money that is rightfully due to either mf global or its customers.
nor do i know whether the back office professionals at the firm or at other institutions made errors or miss calculations under the extraordinary stress. questions have also been raised about the compliance and risk systems at mf global and the controls on segregated funds. during my tenure, we employ dozens and dozens of highly regarded and trained professionals in the areas of risk, finance, compliance, legal, internal audit, and back office operations. also retained prominent outside lawyers and consultants to make sure we operated lawfully. indeed, until sunday night before the bankruptcy, i believed that the people and systems at mf global were properly protecting client funds. on the friday before the bankruptcy, jp morgan chase contacted me and others at the firm about certain overdraft and whether funds had been transferred in compliance with
cftc rules. i had no personal knowledge about the issue, so i asked people to become directly involved in resolving these issues. even in the midst of the chaotic last days of business, i had confidence in our people and systems, but before i respond to your questions, i want to say again -- i apologize to our customers, the farmers and ranchers, the gentleman that we saw here today and the people they represent in the real world, our employees and investors. my embarrassment does not blind me to the fact that they bear the brunt of the impact of the firm's bankruptcy. i am willing to respond to the committee's questions. >> thank you very much. >> madame chairwoman, ranking member roberts, members of the committee, thank you for having me here today. the bankruptcy of mf global was
a tragedy for our customers, employees, and shareholders. for many of our customers, including many of your constituents, who have still been unable to receive funds that are rightfully theirs, it has imposed extreme financial hardship. more than 2500 employees have either already lost or will soon lose their jobs through no fault of their own. shareholders have seen the value of their investments reduced to almost nothing overnight. as the president and chief operating officer of mf global, i am deeply sorry for the hardship they have volunteered. while i know nothing i say can ease their pain, i hope that through my testimony today, i can help this committee understand what happened and how we are attempting to unwind the company in a manner that provides maximum value for all parties. i joined mf global in september 2010 as chief operating officer. i was given the additional title as president in march 2011
and served in that capacity through the bankruptcy filing this october. after the filing, the board asked me to remain in my position to work with various trustees and administrators to close the firm's operations, which i have attempted to do over the last six weeks. from my perspective, based on what i was able to observe at the time, there were a number of factors that led to mf global's demise. first, it appeared in mid- october this year, the market was becoming increasingly concerned with the firm's exposure to european sovereign debt. second, the ratings agencies rapidly and repeatedly downgraded the firm's credit rating. third, the company reported disappointing earnings on october 25. the combination of those three events increased concern about exposure to european sovereign debt, a series of ratings downgrades and disappointing earnings, creating an extremely negative perception in the market, resulting in a large
number of the firm posted trading and financing counterparts pulling away, dramatically reducing the firm owes a liquidity. that reduction in liquidity, a classic run the bank, led mf global to attend to sell all or part of the firm in order to provide liquidity and protect the interests of our employees, shareholders, creditors, and customers. when those efforts failed, mf global filed for bankruptcy on october 31. i know this committee is interested in finding out what amount of client funds went missing, how it happened, where those funds are, and what might eventually be returned to the firm's clients. i am deeply troubled by the fact that customer funds are missing, and i can assure you that i share your interest and the public policy interest in finding out exactly what happened. at this time, however, i do not know the answer to those questions. they are being investigated by the trustees who have taken over
management of mf global and have control over its records and accounts and a host of regulatory and investigatory agencies. while i do not know what they have found, i know all the parties are working hard to find answers, and i hope they are able to get to the bottom of the issue as soon as possible. since the company filed for bankruptcy, i have focused every day on minimizing the effect on customers and in four years. there is no way to turn back time and under the damage caused by the collapse of mf global, but in a last six weeks, i have worked day and night to reduce costs and maximize the remaining value in the business. because mf global was a global firm with operations and exchanges -- with operations on exchanges around world, i have work to foster corporate -- cooperation and communication. there are a number of different parties now responsible for unwinding the firm's operation,
and it has been an enormous effort to coordinate with them to generate the maximum possible recovery of assets. while it is only a small measure given the number of people who have lost their jobs, you're still doing what i can to help former employees find new employment. i believe it is important to examine the issues that led to the demise of mf global, and the firm has attended to be as open and transparent as possible. i hope i can provide some assistance to the committee today. as i said, there is no way to undo the damage that has been done. it is my hope that efforts such as this one to gather facts and provide a clear picture of what occurred will assist policy makers, regulators, and participants in the financial- services industry in avoiding such tragic events in the future. i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you very much. mr. steenkamp. >> distinguished members of the
committee, thank you for this opportunity to make this brief statement. i am the chief financial officer of mf global holdings limited, a position i have held since april of this year. let me say at the outset that i am deeply saddened, upset, and frustrated that many belongings of mf global customers have been frozen. i know it cannot be compared to those who are suffering with this issue. along with certain other senior executives, i have remained at my post following the bankruptcy filings and am working diligently to do what i can to maximize the value of the firm for all interested parties. that said, because of the rules and policies, i unfortunately have not been able to participate in the current efforts to find the missing
funds. while you're so deeply distressed by the fact that customer moneys have not yet been fully accounted for, i unfortunately have limited knowledge of the specific movements of funds at the u.s. broker-dealer subsidiary mf global, inc., during the last two or three hectic business days prior to the bankruptcy filing. this is in part because of my global role and in part because during those days, i was taken up with other serious matters. as the global cfo, i have many different functions, but principal among them was the effort to insure that the holding company's consolidated financial accounts, complied with all u.s. accounting and reporting requirements, and bob to work closely with our investors and rating agencies -- and dot two, to work closely with our investors and rating agencies. my employer is a global holding company. each of the regulated subsidiaries generally had its
own or a regional chief executive officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, and others come obligated to independently discharge the customary duties of those officers according to its own jurisdictions -- home jurisdiction but the regulatory requirements. direct involvement with operation matters such as bank accounts or fund transfers, has never been part of my duty. it is, of course, important to understand the way in which segregation issues were handled in the ordinary course of business, and to avoid confusion. mfgi help of customer funds required by law to be segregated and segregation calculations were performed by experienced personnel in chicago, overseen
by mfgi financing professionals. july anderson, the segregation has been completely -- repeatedly reviewed and regulator over a long time. as a general matter, i was not involved with the details of the segregated funds in the course of my duties as global cfo, nor with the course of calculations performed by mfgi in chicago and reported to regulators on a daily basis. the prior to the bankruptcy filing some multiple agency downgrades in quick succession, extraordinary liquidity stresses, and efforts to sell all or part of the firm. it was a time of constant pressure and little or no sleep with a significant number of critical issues to resolve. as cfo of the holding company, my attention was appropriately focused on management and strategic issues relating to the sale of the company. monday, october 24, moody's announced it was downgrading mf
global's credit rating by one notch, leaving the firm with the lowest possible investment-grade rating. this was followed by further downgrades through of the week, the speed and severity which were unprecedented in my experience, and raced to -- placed extraordinary pressure on the firm's liquidity. the sale of the business or firm was pursued. i dedicated my time to the daunting task of facilitating the diligence necessary for an acquisition or asset sales, almost exclusively in the time commencing on the evening of october 27 and ending with the decision to file for bankruptcy on october 31, the morning. sunday night october 30, when a deal for the acquisition for all or part of the company appeared to be close at hand, i first learned of an issue of mfgi's segregated fund calculations. the efforts to reconcile when a successful and the deal fell through, and i along with others
from been notified our regulators about desegregation issues. i understand that the committee, mfgi's customers, and the public have many unanswered questions. i share many of these questions, and i personally am extremely frustrated and distressed that they remain outstanding and the client funds are missing. i would be pleased to answer the committee's questions. thank you. >> thank you very much. first, for the information of the members, we will break about 1:00 and come back at 2:15 to continue. we have much to do today, but we will take that opportunity to break. first, mr. corzine and mr. steenkamp, on may 20, 2011, you both sun certificates regarding -- required by sarbanes-off like --
sarbanes-oxley regulations ensuring financial controls were accurate. given what your note today and the $1.2 billion potentially in customer funds that are missing, would you sign the document again? >> senator, given what we know today, we would not sign that document because you would not have had the assurances of the people, the systems, the procedures verify by all of those that were responsible for internal confirmation that the data was accurate, and, clearly, as has been repeated, there is certainly some amount -- different numbers -- of
dollars that are unreconciled with regard to segregation accounts. >> knowing what we know today, again at this point in time, and knowing that there are missing customer funds from what we understand, i would not be able to sign that. prior to this point, they were controls that, as far as i was aware, that have not operated before this. >> it is very difficult listening to you two, the chief financial officer or the ceo, see -- coo, indicating surprise that there were not adequate controls on the management of the money. i guess what we heard on the first panel was very simple -- where is the money? how do you answer that? where is the money from funds
that were supposed to be kept separate? customer money. as cfo, where is the money? >> senator, unfortunately, i do not know where the money is. >> who does? >> part of my job was not to approve transfers of planned funds. it was not to be involved in the process of client funds. those operational aspects occurred back mf global inc. as well as other offices around the world, and we had experienced, senior officers executing those controls. >> mr. corzine, where's the money. >> senator, enormous numbers of
transactions were taking place in those final days. the 38,000 customers, the many countries. those need to be parsed through to arrive at an answer. we need the facts on that. it is not only from those of us who do not see those records, but even from the people who now have those records, it is a very, very difficult task. many of us had reasons to believe when we signed statements like you presented that we had the people, the policies, and procedures in place to give assurance. would not have signed those in may 20 or other times while we were there if we did not feel those were secure. at the time back occurred on that sunday evening, october 30,
it is clear that something was amiss, and that needs to be discovered what that was, base through all those transactions i tried to outline. >> we are looking at the top three people of the company to are responsible for overall internal controls of this company. where is the money? >> senator, as i said in my statement, i do not know where the money is. as of the filing a bankruptcy on october 31, investigations were commenced by a number of the investigative authorities under the direction, presumably, of the specific trusty who has been put in place. we have not had access to the results of that investigation or any information about the status of that investigation. i am as anxious as you are to
hear the results of that investigation and be able to answer the question. >> let me ask -- did any of you authorize, approve, or no of money transfers from customer segregated accounts to the firm was the brokerage accounts in the final days or weeks of mf global or before then? >> senator, as i said in my opening remarks, i never directed anyone at mf global to miss use customer funds. i never intended to, and as far as i'm concerned, i never gave instructions that anybody could misconstrue. >> you are saying you did not authorize, approve, or know of
fund transfers. >> in a general sense, there are all kinds of fund transfers that are taking place. anytime there is a sale of $1.3 billion worth of commercial paper, there will be fun transfers. >> i am talking about between broker-dealer accounts. you know what i am asking. >> that is why i'm trying to be very direct. no direct authorization. i was not aware that the unreconciled accounts existed until that sunday evening that we talked about. >> did you authorize, approve, or know of money transfers in customer segregated accounts in the final days and weeks? >> to the best of my recollection, i do not recall participating in any conversation about the use of customer funds, customer-
segregated funds or assets, for any purpose other than what they were intended to be used for. >> senator, i did not authorize, approve, or know of any transfers of customer funds for any house or berber-dealer purposes. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, madame chairwoman. as the coo, the employees responsible for transfers of money ultimately report to you, and you report directly to governor corzine. is that correct? when you frame your question -- if you could repeat it for me, i would appreciate it. >> treasury operations and security operations ultimately report to you? >> yes, they do, through a chain of authority.
>> as the cfo, did enough global -- did mf global instill conduct controls for how money could be moved? >> yes, there were controls implemented in all of our companies and subsidiaries. >> is it possible for this to be removed? that led to the best of my knowledge, these controls were operated in the legal entities, so i do not believe so, no. >> you do not believe it, but is it possible? >> i would not want to speculate. >> is it correct that at the end of each trading day, mf global would receive margin calls? obviously. >> there was twice a day settlements of margin calls if i'm aware of how the process
goes. >> i believe it was typical wasmf -- was typical that mf did receive margin calls. >> did mf global received margin calls on friday, november 28? >> i believe there were margin calls, as there are on almost every day. >> you indicated publicly, i think the $4.5 billion went out the door. >> i have repeatedly said that there was $4.5 billion worth of u.s. government agencies sold on that day. that was a sale designed to produce margin coming back to the firm as opposed to margin going out the firm. >> we have heard a lot of 35 cents words being tossed around. we may not understand the in and out -- the ins and outs of it,
but we know customer money was accounted for on wednesday the 26. friday the 28, the cash flow situation was dire, and demands for cash kept coming in. is it the case back mf global did not have enough cash on hand to cover the request that came in late friday? >> senator, from all the reports i have received, to my recollection on that day, we were able to meet our cash demands. >> fighter not recall being made aware of our running out of cash on friday the 28 or being unable to meet obligations. that as a captain in the marines and governor, i knew that if the colonel told me to do something, i would do it, and a two-star general gave me an order, i sure would not ask questions.
could it be possible that one of the money managers who reported to you was sold to cover the liquidity needs or margin calls overwhelming the firm's cash flow by taking money out of the firm is a segregated account? >> senator, i do not believe that anyone would operate that way. we have no experience in the 19 months that i had been there that anyone had overridden those systems. i have no reason to believe that that occurred in those last hours. if that was senator, i cannot speculate about conversations i did not see or purchase of it in. i can only tell you that i do not recall participating in any conversations about the use of customer funds or assets other than for their intended purposes. >> as i state in my opening remarks, the cme new on or
before wednesday november 2 that mf global was attempting to hide something. did leadership not even go so far as to request and receive an actual plan that would break the glass and tap into your customers'segregated accounts, perhaps described as a loan if such a scenario rose? >> there certainly were contingency plans that i think fall under the rubric that you were talking about. to my knowledge and understanding of that report, it was not ever the intent to recommend tapping into segregated customer funds. >> senator, i have not reviewed the specific document that you
are referencing, but my recollection is that the key driver of liquidity, a source of liquidity under that scenario, was the use of a revolving credit facility. >> you might want to take a look at it. by all accounts, on the friday before bankruptcy, mf global thought it had found a buyer to save you. seen as well within the realm of possibility that as you put it, a classic run on the bank overwhelm your cash flow. -- communicated somehow in order to use customer funds to cover the firm's segregation funds thinking that everything would be fine by monday morning and the new owner could replace customer funds -- is this possible, governor? >> senator, i think we are being asked to speculate. i do not really think i should
speculate. i had no reason to believe until the evening of october 30 that there was a misuse of customer funds. >> senator, i was shocked to be informed on sunday. i cannot speculate beyond that. >> if this is not what happened, then what did happen? what is your speculation on that? >> senator, i think speculating is -- should be done in the context of the facts that are being developed by the investigators. as in my oral statement and also in my written statement, i have put forward issues about whether
money was returned properly that should be looked at, put forward transactions that i think would be obvious that people should check all the details on, but how that would come to conclusion without records, without the ability to go through it, is speculative, and i think would be inappropriate and could be misleading. >> i'm over time, but i would like mr. abelow to respond. what did happen? >> i will ask you to respond briefly. >> senator, i do not know what happened, and i await the results of the investigation to inform all of us. >> thank you. i have additional questions. >> we will absolutely have a second round, yes. senator conrad. >> thank you, madam chairman.
as this has unfolded, i have had contacts from my home state. several customers, several broker-dealers, one missing by hundred thousand dollars. absolutely through no fault of their own. as one tries to pierce the veil here and try to figure out what happened, it is incredibly difficult to do. i had a chance to read the lengthy article in the "new york times" which has some interesting tidbits in it. one is that i have operated under the assumption that these european trades on european debt were losing money. the assertion in this article is that they made money. this is the second paragraph from the end.
"ultimately, thecorzine -- the placed ended up better than the company itself." is that the case? >> at the time of the bankruptcy, they were still positive traits. the positive positions -- but they clearly were a part of the ingredients that led to the loss of confidence in the firm. there are really two different issues, i think. mr. abelow talked about, as i did in my written testimony, that the ingredients that led to
the loss of confidence and sovereign decisions are certainly part of that process. >> that really comports with this article. basically, this article says there was a loss of confidence. the moody's downgrade was devastating. because that affected the firm was the liquidity. you had indicated there were margin calls, but that was not atypical that you would have margin calls in a firm like this, but was the level of margin call unusual at the end of that week? that is, where the demands on the company for cash at the end of that week extraordinary? >> senator, to the best of my recollection, there were
increasing demands for margin in different places. the process slowed up in the clearing and movement of transactions, but specifics -- i really want to be able to rely on the ability to look at records to answer in precision. >> this article, by the way, suggests that the day after the bankruptcy, you sifted through transactions in the hopes of locating the missing money. is that the case? >> center, from art -- senator, from what i recall, i sat with a group of internal folks who might be able to give me the kind of information i think you would like to get from me today to see if we would be able to identify some sources of where these missing funds might be. i was stunned.
the first of my knowledge of segregated funds being out of reconciliation was that evening on the 30th. >> you believed you work -- that the funds were where they were supposed to be? but they were not. something has happened here. i have heard speculation from people who are deeply knowledgeable in this area that money was transferred that came from client accounts on somebody's authority, with the idea that those funds would be made whole the following week because the company was owed money that would normally come to it in the normal course of business. and, of course, when everything went south, funds did not
transfer money to mf global that were really do -- due mf global. do you think at the end of the day, there could be a finding that mf global is owed money that would cover the shortfall? >> i will respond the way i did to senator roberts. i think it would be speculative on my account to opine about the. as i have said in my region and in oral statements, those are possibilities, but without having the ability -- probably not even by myself, but by experts, to go through some of that, which is exactly what the trustee and other investigators are doing, it would be virtually impossible to speculate. >> well, at the end of the day,
what we know is customers are out funds that are due them. you have all expressed your regret at that and your sympathy for those who have been adversely affected, and it came across as sincere to me, but somehow, customer funds were transferred in a way that is inappropriate. searching your memory now, is there any conversation that you were part of that could have been misinterpreted by some one to authorize the transfer of customer funds to cover margin calls or for any other purpose that was not appropriate? >> senator, i specifically put
in my opening statement, and i want to be very clear on it -- i never authorized the misuse of customer funds. i did not intend to authorize the misuse of customer funds, and i do not believe that it would be possible to construe anything that i said as an authorization. >> searching your memory, mr. abelow, any conversation you were part of, any conversation you know about, any conversation where it could be misconstrued, what you said, that would have let somebody to believe they should transfer customer funds? >> senator, i do not recall participating in any conversation about the use of segregated funds, other than for their intended purposes. >> in searching your memory --
you know, you were in a chaotic, crisis situation. you do not remember a conversation with somebody saying, "hey, we could transfer funds from customer accounts and cover these and get the money back on monday anyway? >> senator, i do not recall any conversation about customer funds being used for anything other than their intended purpose. >> thank you very much. >> we have heard that there were as many as 38,000 customers of mf global. we discussed with the previous panel, who were some of the customers or through affiliate's work. why they retained this affiliation.
i'm simply curious because we have heard at least some testimony that in april or may, there already were hints perhaps because of european bond transactions or other investments, of anxiety on the part of rating agencies. in any event, before this crucial weekend in october, a national declaration apparently of downgraded earnings -- our concentration today, obviously, has been on the customers, many of whom are our constituents who for the time being had the segregated funds and do not have the money. i raised with the previous panel sort of the business judgments which led people to want to be affiliated with the customers of your firm.
was there no early warning that might have led some of them to decide to do business with somebody else? it appears to me that throughout this time, there was a considerable degree of anxiety in the financial markets about all of this. you have testified that the actual european bond transactions at the time were doing better than some of the other things that you had there, but that surely must not have been true throughout the entirety of the year. it was your business to try to determine how you were going to get money, but i'm just curious -- was any of this transparent? would any of the 38,000 customers have some idea about your portfolio, your transactions, your movement toward loss of earnings?
or was this entirely opaque as far as customers? >> senator, i really would not be able to tell you what kind of credit worked an individual customer would do or any particular customer, but most of our introducing brokers -- i think you heard from one this morning, and there were many -- who represented and introduce clients to us. they certainly have the capacity to read a 10-k or 10 q. they certainly have the ability to review credit rating elements. most public companies, ourselves included, have quarterly presentations of our earnings.
not in our case. i guess, our results. and those were open to general distribution, and an understanding of what we best understood at the point in time existed. those are pieces of information that are in the public forum on a regular basis that certainly sophisticated investors and counterparties look to. >> many sophisticated investors must have come to the conclusion that continuing on with mf global was not a very good idea for themselves or for their customers. but they said even if mf global goes into bankruptcy, still, segregated accounts would be
safe, that that is simply the law of the land and is almost bound to occur. i'm just trying to gauge how we reached a situation in which we still had the 38,000 customers and still have the farmers who were hoping to hedge and so forth, tied up here. clearly, the distressed today is with the overall picture, but specifically with people who felt that somehow the law simply would not permit this loss, regardless of what happened to you and management. you are saying essentially all of these records were there in regular quarterly reports and various other reports, so that you were not hiding any transparency of the risks that were involved in these types of investments, if i hear you correctly. is that a true assumption? >> my assumption is that we were complying with the disclosure requirements.
those are reviewed by outside auditors. and they certainly were reviewed, i would presume, by credit rating agencies. >> if i were a broker that was getting customers, farmers, and what have you, i must have been a company that really thought there was going to be some excitement in terms of the european bond markets, and this was going to be a moneymaker, presumably. but i do not know anybody reading through those markets in the last few months that would have that degree of confidence. and the thought that you were so heavily involved in it, would have led me to a lack of confidence, the other way our ground. in the after that, you're sore not certain why you made these investments, but likewise, how the other people were managed, who were dealing with you and why they continued with you. this may be beyond your coverage
and, likewise. all of you probably valued having these customers and figured they might stick with you because they did not know any better, or they were speculating along with you, and it turned out the speculation was wrong. at the end of the day, i suppose we are at a point -- does the federal government now have sufficient control of regulations and so forth on mf global, firms like this, or anyone else, so that the regular farmer who is trying to hedge and sell and sell for is not out of the market, and at least has some security? or maybe this is unobtainable. i'm hoping our hearings will lead to a situation where we can hear what kind of legislation or administrative fixes are required to remedy the situation. >> thank you very much. just to let the members know, we will take two more questions and
then break. >> thank you very much. thank you all for being here. thank you to mr. douglas. i was not here for the end of your testimony. mr. corzine, it has been widely speculated that in the days before mf global declared bankruptcy that your firm shifted accounts to the broker- dealer side of the business. in testimony before the house last week and in written testimony for today's hearing, the executive chairman of cme group asserts that about at 2:00 a.m., mf global informed that customer money had in fact been transferred out of segregation to the firm posted broker-dealer accounts. do these details match your recollection of what was conveyed to the cftc and cme early that monday morning?
>> the general description mr. duffy talked about on the issues of october 31 are consistent. >> ok. to your knowledge, did mf global shift funds to the broker-dealer side of your business or to take any outstanding obligations? >> as i said in the written testimony and here again this morning, until the late evening of october 30, i was not aware of this unreconciled amount in the account. >> none of the foreign debt securities at mf global have defaulted, by your own admission, these played a major role in the loss of market confidence that led to the failure in the firm. many raise concerns over the accounting rules that allow you
to treat positions in foreign sovereign debt as sales rather than financing, effectively removing them from the balance sheet. you said it your testimony that these positions were publicly disclosed, but not on your balance sheet. is that right? >> that is correct. >> do you believe that we should be examined the accounting treatment of repro to maturity transactions? >> to the extent that people believe that the disclosures that we made were not adequate, and they believe that more disclosure is better, that certainly should be considered. i think i am probably not the one to speak to this. the issue of -- certainly not an accounting expert -- the issues of off-balance sheet questions
are very challenging for those who make rules in accounting, the accounting rules. this is one of those that i think should be reviewed. >> interesting that more transparency here would have been a good thing, and we are always hearing about how that to will hurt if we do this or do that, and in this case, you had something that was more often a footnote that could not be found. just trying to figure out how we make this better going forward, in addition to finding this money. and thes in the 10k's disclosure with regard to this. it was discussed with analysts. if my memory serves me correctly, then in some of the credit write ups from the rating agencies. >> the rolling responsibility of the coo can vary dramatically
between businesses. can you discuss your role as at mf global? >> yes, senator. my role as chief operating officer and president was to oversee daily execution of the firm's strategy and focus on various elements of the firm was a strategic plan. i had oversight responsibilities for a number of operating areas of the firm. >> who had the authority at the firm to move funds from segregated accounts? we're trying to figure out -- where did the money go? >> again, senator, i am not aware of any conversations about the movement of segregated funds other than for their
intended purposes. a number of people inside the firm in operations, in treasury, and in compliance and other areas, were involved in the daily movement of funds on a regular basis. >> in the days leading up to sunday when it was discovered that the bonds were missing, were you involved in discussions about actions being taken to ensure that your business did not become under segregated? >> i do not recall specific conversations about actions for it to not become under segregated. i do not recall a specific conversation about that. >> mr. steenkamp, i'm assuming when you heard there was a shortfall, you immediately went looking for answers, as cfo. what did you find? then a senator, the first time i found out about the segregation was on a sunday, and we found out pretty late on a sunday night. i was informed that there was an
issue with segregation calculations, that the assets are less than the liabilities. as i mentioned in my statement following that, we informed regulators very shortly thereafter. my initial reaction was absolute shock. as far as i'm aware, we had never had issues with segregation in the past. it was something that was completely unexpected. >> so then what did you do? you went to try to find the money? >> it was late sunday evening. as that point, we were about to execute the deal for an acquisition of part of the firm. my first response was once we had taken a short while to see if we could try to reconcile it before our deadline late sunday night, once we knew that we would not find an answer it this evening, we notified the regulators. >> very good.
did you see the testimony with mr. duffy with sydney and what he said with the timing? we can read it to you again if you like. --said about two o'clock about 2:00 a.m., mf global inform the fcc and cme that funds had been transferred to the firm as a broker-dealer count. is that your recollection? >> yes, my recollection was that was very early monday morning when we were on the phone with regulators. that sounds consistent. >> all right. thank you very much. >> thanks very much. i have listened to your answer very carefully, and i want to make sure that i get a direct answer to this. corzine, did you understand the mf global was using customer funds to carry
out proprietary transactions on behalf of mf global -- backed -- did you understand that mf global was using customer funds? >> i was not aware. i did not authorize it or intended that it happen. >> let me frame it a little differently. with the use of your customer's funds to engage in proprietary trades on behalf of mf global have been illegal as far as you are concerned? >> first of all, it is actually more complicated. it gets into this rule 125 of the repurchase agreement between entities. as long as the securities that were on part of that repurchase agreement between the entities
-- that would be appropriate and would not be a misuse of customer funds. for instance, if you had treasury bills ended a repo -- and did a repo from the broker- dealer, that would be appropriate. if you did it for your own salary, that would not be. >> ok, that is a generally accepted practice in the industry, is it not? >> the rule 125, which i think i heard senator harkin actually read from, is very specific about what can be invested with segregated funds. any of the repurchase agreements that could occur between the entities have to be